Kindle Fire HD Review

A Main Street One review, once again based upon use not on the specifics of the technology.

I have never owned an iPad, though I have used them. I have also used various other tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus. I have owned the Toshiba Thrive 10.1″ tablet. I must say, for the money, Kindle Fire HD 7″ (without special offers) is the hands-down winner for my specific purposes.

I am not a gamer, so I cannot comment on the comparison there. My needs for a tablet device, are, and the review reflects usage, as follows: reading while traveling; easy access of email (my yahoo, hotmail, gmail personal and my business godaddy accounts) which are all loaded, synched and ready to go; listening to my favorite few hundred songs; to watch the occasional movie; to be able to view my own photos and videos whenever I wish; accessing my facebook and twitter accounts; surfing the web when not in front of my Mac or my laptop.

Kindle Fire HDYes, I know it may be limited, but those are my parameters. I originally thought my Thrive would replace my laptop but it did not. I believe that I will always have a laptop for various things I need to do. The Thrive was, in essence, my learning curve on exactly what I wanted, and needed, in a smaller portable device to use mainly while traveling. I carry my Kindle and my 15.6″ laptop (with all cords, chargers and a variety of other items) in my Wenger Swiss Gear 16-inch Legacy Checkpoint-Friendly computer case.

The Kindle Fire HD has fantastic WiFi capabilities; never an issue. Near a hotspot? Connect. Easy as that. I have not yet had it lose a connection. The device has fantastic optics; brilliant colors that are alive and pop. It is a pleasure to show my photos to others on the Fire HD. I did match it directly against the iPad, Thrive and Galaxy and the visual is better than the competition. Dolby Digital Plus definitely delivers the goods. The sound is great. And when you plug in a good (not cheap) headset be prepared to fill yourself full of high quality sonic. Word docs, pdfs, and spreadsheets have all been viewed successfully.

Kindle Fire HDWhen I got the Thrive one of the reasons is that I thought a 10 inch screen would be better to read books when I travel. And, in many ways, it is. But I am more than satisfied with the Fire HD 7″ screen when I read. It is easy on the eyes and the form factor is also more comfortable when reading.

I am getting pretty close to the advertised 11 hours of operational battery time, which is excellent. That means when flying coast to coast I am able to use my Kindle while sitting in the terminal, during the flight, sitting again during a layover, and then the continuation flight, without having to worry about running out of juice (and/or searching the airport terminal for the sometimes elusive outlet).

As the Kindle PowerFast charger was on sale when I got my Fire HD, I purchased it. I am glad I did. At first I was a bit disappointed that it was not included with the device, but, at this price-point, it makes business sense that it is not. Amazon has delivered an outstanding device. Yes, it is all tied to their content, but that also makes the Fire HD very attractive due to all of that content.

All in all, the Kindle Fire HD exceeds all of my expectations and I highly recommend it to anyone with the caveat that I have not used it with any games and do not plan to.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Thrive On It – Toshiba Thrive Tablet Review

There are myriad tablets on the market these days and while contenders continue to unveil the new, the latest, the greatest models, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the B&N Nook Tablet, the Apple iPad still dominates market share.

However, for those who wish their tablet to be closer in function and capability to their laptop, but less bulky and cumbersome for use in various circumstances and places, the Toshiba Thrive 10.1 is the answer.

While there are some who complain that Thrive weighs in at a “heavyweight” (for tablets) 1.6 pounds, and is, oh my, slightly over half an inch thick, there are those who simply appreciate the convenience of having not just a USB, but also a mini-USB, as well as a full SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot, along with full HDMI, for 720p video output.

 

What could be sweeter than a tablet that is actually closer to a laptop allowing more consumer control, utility and functionality.

Not everyone embraces “the cloud” for storage. And, thankfully, Toshiba had the good sense to recognize this fact and know that there are people in the world who want the exact device they have offered. The ability to add storage with USB or SD is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Thrive’s rich and vibrant screen color is on par with any tablet on the market, and is, actually, better than most all, while allowing the end user to adjust the LED backlit display (1280×800) as they wish.

The speed of the Thrive should satisfy most anyone, offering a 1 GB internal DDR2 memory, 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core mobile processor, GeForce graphics, and all powered by Android 3.1 Honeycomb.

The ease of customizing settings and the entirety of the interface is very satisfying, all without having to plod through a dreaded User’s Manual. And, anyway, aren’t user’s manuals only for reference when one finds themselves in a jam?

Of course Thrive comes standard with stereo speakers and headphone jack, GPS, digital compass, Adobe Flash support, a dock connector port and may be purchased with 8GB, 16GB or 32GB internal flash memory.

The back cover detaches and, aside from being able to customize Thrive’s exterior color scheme, provides access to a removable battery.

 

Wrap it all up with Wireless-N WiFi 802.11 b/g/n plus Bluetooth 3.0 and a 5mp back facing and 2mp front facing camera and Toshiba offers a tablet that is closer to a laptop than any competitor.

Thrive On It !

Over For Now.

Main Street One